JOLIET, IL – Will County Health Department held a Special Needs Vaccine Clinic on Saturday, March 27th at the St. Charles Center at Lewis University, where 600 special needs individuals 16 and older and their caregivers received their vaccine in a caring and nurturing environment built specifically for them.
The clinic was coordinated by Katie Weber, an Emergency Planning and Response Coordinator with the Will County Health Department. Katie is also an “Angel Mom” who has a child with Angelman Syndrome. She worked with area parent groups of special needs children and adults to create a vaccine clinic that would be fully accessible for wheelchairs, sensory friendly, and was conducive to allow caregivers to be with the individual with special needs as they received their vaccine.
It also featured a separate room for people with auditory sensory issues to allow for a quiet space to get vaccine – plus there was a drive-up for individuals with heavy mobility issues.
This special clinic was also planned with the help of Lewis University students who are studying Occupational and Speech Therapy. They created special signage with graphics to help explain the process to the individuals receiving the vaccine in order to communicate what was happening.
The Will County Health Department wishes to thank the following individuals who contributed to this clinic:
- Nanci Reiland, Will County Health Board Member
- Chicago Angel Mamas
- Steve Buresh’s Cheesecake Store and Sandwich Shop, who donated boxed lunches to volunteers
- Lewis University
- Lockport Township Fire Department
- All the volunteers who donated their time and talents.
Other special needs clinics are in the planning stages. For more information contact the Will County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 815-740-8977; or go to willcountyhealth.org.